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1.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260453, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623646

ABSTRACT

A majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections are transmitted from a minority of infected subjects, some of which may be symptomatic or pre-symptomatic. We aimed to quantify potential infectiousness among asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) in relation to prior or later symptomatic disease. We previously (at the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic) performed a cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 infections among 27,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) at work in the capital region of Sweden. We performed both SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and serology. Furthermore, the cohort was comprehensively followed for sick leave, both before and after sampling. In the present report, we used the cohort database to quantify potential infectiousness among HCWs at work. Those who had sick leave either before or after sampling were classified as post-symptomatic or pre-symptomatic, whereas the virus-positive subjects with no sick leave were considered asymptomatic. About 0.2% (19/9449) of HCW at work were potentially infectious and pre-symptomatic (later had disease) and 0.17% (16/9449) were potentially infectious and asymptomatic (never had sick leave either before nor after sampling). Thus, 33% and 28% of all the 57 potentially infectious subjects were pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, respectively. When a questionnaire was administered to HCWs with past infection, only 10,5% of HCWs had had no indication at all of having had SARS-CoV-2 infection ("truly asymptomatic"). Our findings provide a unique quantification of the different groups of asymptomatic, potentially infectious HCWs.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sweden/epidemiology
3.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257854, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440992

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Most COVID-19 related infections and deaths may occur in healthcare outside hospitals. Here we explored SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers (HCWs) in this setting. DESIGN: All healthcare providers in Stockholm, Sweden were asked to recruit HCWs at work for a study of past or present SARS-CoV-2 infections among HCWs. Study participants This study reports the results from 839 HCWs, mostly employees of primary care centers, sampled in June 2020. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was found among 12% (100/839) of HCWs, ranging from 0% to 29% between care units. Seropositivity decreased by age and was highest among HCWs <40 years of age. Within this age group there was 19% (23/120) seropositivity among women and 11% (15/138) among men (p<0.02). Current infection, as measured using PCR, was found in only 1% and the typical testing pattern of pre-symptomatic potential "superspreaders" found in only 2/839 subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Previous SARS-CoV-2 infections were common among younger HCWs in this setting. Pre-symptomatic infection was uncommon, in line with the strong variability in SARS-CoV-2 exposure between units. Prioritizing infection prevention and control including sufficient and adequate personal protective equipment, and vaccination for all HCWs are important to prevent nosocomial infections and infections as occupational injuries during an ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Health Personnel/trends , Adult , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sweden/epidemiology
4.
Prev Med Rep ; 24: 101518, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364408

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a risk group for SARS-CoV-2 infection, but which healthcare work that conveys risk and to what extent such risk can be prevented is not clear. Starting on April 24th, 2020, all employees at work (n = 15,300) at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden were invited and 92% consented to participate in a SARS-CoV-2 cohort study. Complete SARS-CoV-2 serology was available for n = 12,928 employees and seroprevalences were analyzed by age, sex, profession, patient contact, and hospital department. Relative risks were estimated to examine the association between type of hospital department as a proxy for different working environment exposure and risk for seropositivity, adjusting for age, sex, sampling week, and profession. Wards that were primarily responsible for COVID-19 patients were at increased risk (adjusted OR 1.95 (95% CI 1.65-2.32) with the notable exception of the infectious diseases and intensive care units (adjusted OR 0.86 (95% CI 0.66-1.13)), that were not at increased risk despite being highly exposed. Several units with similar types of work varied greatly in seroprevalences. Among the professions examined, nurse assistants had the highest risk (adjusted OR 1.62 (95% CI 1.38-1.90)). Although healthcare workers, in particular nurse assistants, who attend to COVID-19 patients are a risk group for SARS-CoV-2 infection, several units caring for COVID-19 patients had no excess risk. Large variations in seroprevalences among similar units suggest that healthcare work-related risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be preventable.

5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 110: 433-435, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347652

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to estimate how well the excess mortality reflected the burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related deaths during the March-May 2020 COVID-19 outbreak in Stockholm, Sweden, and whether the excess mortality during the outbreak might have resulted in a compensatory reduced mortality after the outbreak. METHODS: Using previous 10-year or 5-year average mortality rates as a baseline, the excess mortality estimates before, during, and after the COVID-19 outbreak in March-May 2020 in Stockholm were compared. RESULTS: Weekly death estimates revealed that the immediate pre-outbreak and post-outbreak all-cause mortality did not exceed to excess mortality regardless of whether previous 10-year or 5-year average mortality was used. Forty-three days after the start of the outbreak, 74.4% of the total excess mortality was reportedly explained by known COVID-19-related deaths, and the present study reports an update, showing that 15 weeks after the start of the outbreak, the reported COVID-19-related deaths explained >99% of the total excess mortality. CONCLUSIONS: An exceptional outbreak feature of rapid excess mortality was observed. However, no excess but similarly low mortality was observed immediately prior to the outbreak and post-outbreak, thus emphasizing the severity of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Stockholm.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sweden/epidemiology
6.
J Infect Dis ; 224(1): 14-20, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity among asymptomatic subjects reflects past or future disease may be difficult to ascertain. METHODS: We tested 9449 employees at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and antibodies, linked the results to sick leave records, and determined associations with past or future sick leave using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: Subjects with high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus, indicated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) value, had the highest risk for sick leave in the 2 weeks after testing (odds ratio [OR], 11.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.29-22.80) whereas subjects with low amounts of virus had the highest risk for sick leave in the 3 weeks before testing (OR, 6.31; 95% CI, 4.38-9.08). Only 2.5% of employees were SARS-CoV-2 positive while 10.5% were positive by serology and 1.2% were positive in both tests. Serology-positive subjects were not at excess risk for future sick leave (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, .71-1.57). CONCLUSIONS: High amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus, as determined using PCR Ct values, was associated with development of sickness in the next few weeks. Results support the concept that PCR Ct may be informative when testing for SARS-CoV-2. Clinical Trials Registration. NCT04411576.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Progression , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serologic Tests , Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data , Sweden/epidemiology , Young Adult
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(11): e890-e892, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249299

ABSTRACT

Total excess mortality peaked during a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Stockholm, but 25% of these deaths were not recognized as COVID-19 related nor occurred in hospitals. Estimate of total excess mortality may give a more comprehensive picture of the total disease burden during a COVID-19 outbreak, and may facilitate managing future outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals , Humans , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Sweden/epidemiology
8.
J Infect Dis ; 224(1): 14-20, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081341

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity among asymptomatic subjects reflects past or future disease may be difficult to ascertain. METHODS: We tested 9449 employees at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and antibodies, linked the results to sick leave records, and determined associations with past or future sick leave using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: Subjects with high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus, indicated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) value, had the highest risk for sick leave in the 2 weeks after testing (odds ratio [OR], 11.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.29-22.80) whereas subjects with low amounts of virus had the highest risk for sick leave in the 3 weeks before testing (OR, 6.31; 95% CI, 4.38-9.08). Only 2.5% of employees were SARS-CoV-2 positive while 10.5% were positive by serology and 1.2% were positive in both tests. Serology-positive subjects were not at excess risk for future sick leave (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, .71-1.57). CONCLUSIONS: High amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus, as determined using PCR Ct values, was associated with development of sickness in the next few weeks. Results support the concept that PCR Ct may be informative when testing for SARS-CoV-2. Clinical Trials Registration. NCT04411576.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Progression , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serologic Tests , Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data , Sweden/epidemiology , Young Adult
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